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Iran: Nuclear Incentives Offer is a Step Forward


Iran's foreign minster says an international incentives offer for his country to suspend uranium enrichment and enter talks on its nuclear program is a step forward.

Manouchehr Mottaki, speaking after talks with his counterpart in Spain, says Iran is studying the offer and will respond as soon as possible.

Also Wednesday, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he spoke by telephone with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. Solana called the conversation, their first since he delivered the incentives offer to Tehran last week, constructive.

The developments come as the International Atomic Energy Agency board meets in Vienna on Iran. The U.S. delegate to the U.N. agency, Gregory Schulte, says the international community agrees Iran has not taken the necessary steps to prove its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Schulte says the six countries that drew up the incentives plan - the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - all agree that Iran has a clear choice. He says Iran can accept the offer and negotiate, or face further steps in the U.N. Security Council.

As talks in Vienna continue, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in China for a security summit and is expected to hold talks on his country's nuclear program.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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